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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  May 9, 2017 2:30pm-3:01pm PDT

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>> this is "bbc world news america." funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, newman's own foundation, giving all profits from newman's own to charity and pursuing the common good, kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs, and aruba tourism authority. >> planning a vacation escape that is relaxing, inviting, and exciting is a lot easier than you think. you can find it here in aruba. families, couples, and friends can all find their escape on the island with warm, sunny days, cooling trade winds, and the
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crystal blue caribbean sea. nonstop flights are available from most major airports. more information for your vacation planning is available at >> and now, "bbc world news." tim: this is "bbc world news america." reporting from washington, i am tim willcox. south korean voters speak, but how will the new president deal with the trump administration dealing with the north? does america's longest war need more boots on the ground again? the trump administration considering sending more soldiers to afghanistan. and immigration through art -- the mexican artist reflecting the identities of those crossing borders.
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tim: hello, and welcome to our viewers on public television and around the globe. he is a left-leaning liberal who wants to engage with the north, southll moon jae-in, korea's new president, quickly find himself at odds with the trump administration? during the campaign, the 64-year-old, the child of refugees who fled the north during the korean war, said he wanted to improve relations with pyongyang, and questioned the deployment of u.s. missile defense system in which the u.s. military has installed in his country. our correspondent steve evans has this report from seoul. stephen: moon jae-in congratulated on his victory tonight. to men taking south korea the left and perhaps closer to north korea. he wants to talk to pyongyang. voters back in by a big margin.
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they wanted holes in large numbers, turnout of around 80%. of issues, the economy course, young people worried about jobs, and whether to confront for talk to north korea. >> as a person who's going to military in just a few years, i don't want to live in a country where it is at risk of breaking out of war, or me having to go to war with north korea. >> i think i'm not much different from most people. national security is the main point of concern. when the leading presidential candidate says he wants to resume talks with north korea, that is a concern to all of us. stephen: all the indications are that turnout is high in this election. people are galvanized by politics with the sacking of the previous president, and the issues are so big. this is not a country which is fed up with democracy. mr. moon doesn't like the american antimissile system just
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installed in south korea. he favors increased cooperation with pyongyang. >> moon jae-in! moon jae-in! stephen: will left of center moon jae-in get along with president trump? a softer approach in seoul might not please washington. stephen evans, bbc news, south korea. tim: despite fierce opposition from nato ally turkey, the united states says it will begin supplying weapons to kurdish militants fighting islamic state in northern syria. the arms are aimed specifically at the upcoming battle for the city of raqqa. for more on this, i spoke a little earlier with the bbc's gary o'donoghue. i suppose the key question is, will turkey stand idly by? gary: i don't think it will stand i believe by or protest,
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but -- ideally by or protest, but there is a question of how much they can do about this. president erdogan is coming to washington next week. i think he wants to send a really strong message that he wouldn't do that. we have heard he is -- we have not heard he is canceling, for example. they have strongly resisted this idea, mainly because the ypg, syrian kurds, are pretty much the same as the pkk, the internal separatist movement inside turkey. but the u.s. has wanted to do this for some time. time is running short. the opposition forces are within 30 miles of raqqa, and the u.s. simply believes that the kurds , the ypg, are the most disciplined, the most organized, the best fighters on the battlefield. that is why they want to arm them, with the hope, of course, of withdrawal when the battle for raqqa is over. tim: the big question is turkey -- what will they expect, let alone want, in return? the turks are terrified of
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a de facto kurdish state on their border with syria. bits of those kurdish-controlled areas are joining up rapidly. there is a lot of organized fighters building of the civic society to some extent in those places, organizing communities. that is something they really don't like at all. the question is, what does washington think is the long-term future for syria? there are people who do think that some kind of federated state with some kind of turkish -- kurdish autonomy, federation, whatever you want to call it, is not an unrealistic possibility. that is something the turks see as a long-term threat to the national security. tim: even though this might hasten the fall of raqqa, the risk of the wider war escalating are always there, aren't they, with russian airstrikes and turkish militia groups as well. gary: yeah, particularly, you put more arms into a conflict that has already gone on for six , seven years, hundreds of thousands of people dead, it is not going to result in a great deal of peace immediately.
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but the americans do think that this is something that is required to get this thing over quickly, and they believe that these kurdish groups will be a counterbalance, if you like, to the other forces in the country. the russians won't like it very much. but it is something the americans have wanted to do for a long time and they have decided to do it and will suffer the consequences, i suspect. tim: gary, thanks very much indeed. as the trump administration considers sending arms to syria, it is considering sending 3000 more u.s. troops to afghanistan, america's longest war. that comes amid a recent surge in fighting between taliban and security forces. earlier, the white house press secretary laid out american objectives in the country. mr. spicer: the main objective of us being in afghanistan, being used as a safe haven for terrorists who attacked the united states and our allies, that is the main objective. we remain committed to the defeat of al qaeda and the isis
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affiliate there in afghanistan. that is, simply put, what the mission is going forward. tim: for more on the possible troop escalation, i spoke earlier to a man who served as the afghan ambassador to france and canada. under president obama, there was a maximum 100,000 in the surge. what difference will 3000 make? >> if you call this a mini-surge, it is supposed to send a few messages, some political, some tactical from the military perspective. trying to tellis the afghans that the united states is still serious about afghanistan and is not walking away and it wants to see some type of ending to this conflict that has been going on for so long. it is sending a message to the afghan forces that the americans will be closer by, meaning that they will be accompanied by american advisers on the ground.
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and it is sending a message to the taliban that america is very serious and it might hit them very hard. tim: well, you say that, but under 100,000, the taliban did not offer many concessions then. they are now taking more ground as well. you mentioned the afghan army. they are lacking any real optimism at the moment, having suffered recent defeats. again, 3000, hardly anything. >> but these are 3000, most of whom are going to be trainers, advisers, and strategic allies. there are people who are going to on the battleground make a difference. but i agree, to win the afghan war, you need much more. you need to push the taliban and those who back the taliban to agree that this stalemate cannot be broken. they will lose if they continue to wage war. they need to sit down as a -- at the political level and negotiate a peace that works for all sides.
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tim: is islamic state, isis in afghanistan, is that threat diminishing? the leader killed i think of the last 48 hours. >> yes, that threat is diminishing because both the afghan forces, united states, and their allies, have been adamant, focused almost the entirety of their efforts on making sure that isis do not find a foothold in afghanistan. tim: regarding the taliban, though, reports that russia denies that they are arming the taliban. is that credible? >> that is an allegation that has not been proven yet. there are strong indications that the russians are trying to find some kind of accommodation with the taliban, that they see the taliban as a bulwark against isis presence in afghanistan, which threatens central asia. the russians are mostly concerned about central asian stability. tim: the previous president,
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hamid karzai, was very outspoken against american airstrikes. that is one of the most effective ways, as long as there are not civilian casualties. >> hamid karzai has had his long-standing position. at the end of the day, the americans and others need to focus on the political aspects of afghanistan, making sure the unity government is strong enough, that there is good governance, that we can fight corruption, which itself is only -- is a way for the taliban to feed itself. tim: today the u.s. senate was again hearing evidence of russia's interference with elections, but this time it was france that was the focus. -- he described how events unfolded. >> you become aware of that he
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had become aware of the act -- he had become aware of the activity and we talked to our french counterparts and gave a heads up look, we are watching the russians, we are seeing them penetrate some of your infrastructure, here is what we have seen, what can we do to assist? we are doing similar things with our german counterparts, british counterparts. they have an upcoming election sequence. tim: hundreds of workers at a nuclear facility in the united states have been told to take cover after a tunnel containing contaminated material was damaged. washington state say there have been no release of radiation, but as percussion, staff were told not to eat or drink from the building being evacuated. chinese president xi jinping has told french president elect emmanuel macron that beijing will protect the agreement curving climate change. it comes as president trump
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considers pulling the united states out of the accord, as he promised on the campaign trail last year. the head of indonesia has urged supporting the blasphemy charge handed over in jakarta. the man was jailed for two years, charge much stiffer than prosecutors called for. the united nations says newly 250 -- nearly 250 people are feared drowned after 2 shipwrecks in the mediterranean sea over the weekend. one boat reportedly sent off the -- sank off the libyan coast on sunday, and the other two days earlier. yesterday we brought you a report from on board a save the children rescue boat tasked with picking up migrants from the waters. today, the bbc was with some of them as they were brought on shore. reporter: a new day and perhaps a new life. after days on this rescue ship, it is the first glimpse of
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europe for people who left the shores of libya unsure they would survive to see this. trying to cross continents in these dinghies felt like the only hope for several. this nigerian man was working as a welder until his foot was blown off by an explosive. he preferred not to give his name. >> everybody doesn't have a choice. i'm going to cross. reporter: he said he couldn't return home because of boko haram. now first off the ship, he is helped to safety. on shore, there is chocolate for breakfast and people are processed with a warm welcome, italian style. many looked dazed. the contrast with what they have come from is stark. a boy from ivory coast, who we can't identify, told me that
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libya was particularly dangerous for people who are black. he said libyans don't like black africans. he said, "we were all picked up and taken to prison." what time had he committed, i asked. "nothing. i did nothing." this is the end of a long sea journey. the injured came out first, then women and children, and now the rest. but they are arriving in europe where attitudes are hardening against them and the future for many is uncertain. all humanity is present on the treacherous crossings and the rescuers make no distinctions between the persecuted and the poor. but europe does. existing fears about migration and the fact that that 42,000 people have arrived this way this year mean the reception they can expect will be very mixed. for those who have arrived, another journey has started.
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they may have reached their long goal, but admission and acceptance might still eluded them. tim: are you breaking news in the last couple moments -- james comey, head of the fbi, has just been sacked. a statement from the white house said donald trump terminated his contract. james comey gave evidence to a committee revealing extra e-mails, opening the e-mail investigation into hillary clinton a few days before the election last year. hillary clinton blames james they for crossing her presidency. in the last couple of moments, donald trump has just announced that james comey has had that position terminated as head of the fbi. more to come. you are watching "bbc world news america." still to come, american retail sales have hit a slide.
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what is driving the decline, and can it be turned around? scientists in south africa have of avered more remains humanlike species. it is believed it at the same time as early human beings. but more recently than had been thought. this report is by karen allen. karen: already scientists made history discovered a new species of early humans homo naledi. now revealed for the first time, .t's age, thanks to a skeleton these bones of an almost perfectly preserved at all naledi this species at 230,000 years old. the species at almost two out of 32, -- 230,000
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years old. >> it is really, really recent, and it is likely that they overlapped in equatorial africa with modern humans. karen: it was inside these case were scientists made the remarkable discovery. dark and dangerous work, they their way way -- pick through a labyrinth of rock tunnels 30 meters underground. they find bones, hands, antiques, suggesting that primitive ancestors may have buried their own dead. naledi are thought to have walked on two legs, with a tiny brain the size of an orange. the discovery of a near complete skeleton provides a roadmap for scientists to better understand earlier forms of human life. without doubt, buried beneath these african soils are further clues as to who modern humans share the planet with. opens thend
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possibility that the technology and tools and editions we as humans credit ourselves with may be the invention of others who were here first. karen allen, bbc news, at the cradle of humankind. tim: the loss of manufacturing jobs here in the united states was a major drumbeat in a donald trump's march to the presidency, and yet for all that talk, it is another sector that is truly reaching crisis point, and that is retail. the big-box stores and small family-run shops have been losing ground for years to online shopping and changing spending habits. reporter: new york city, known for broadway shows, great restaurants, and shopping. oh, the shopping. but there is a seismic shift happening in american retail,
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which is even evident right here in the big apple. the red on this map shows the vacant storefronts in new york city. when they close, they take jobs with them. new york city clothing stores had been shedding jobs for the last three years. overall, the u.s. economy has lost more than 90,000 retail jobs since october 2016. >> there was too much square footage built out, too many stores, too much space, too much inventory. and then we have the onset 20 years ago of the internet. reporter: it is a story that is repeating itself across the u.s. this is what is left of the hudson valley mall in upstate new york. the empty stores show the demise of the american shopping center. it is lunch time, and i'm in the food court. normally it would be really busy, but as you can see, it is rather quiet. this is what happens when the big department stores leave.
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they take the customers with them. in just the last two years, both macy's and jcpenney have closed their doors at the hudson valley mall. and the future of sears is looking rocky. independent kiosks become collateral damage. >> the mall is getting a little bit slower. a lot of stores left. but we still have hope. reporter: in the absence of customers, hope may be all he has. although it is a hope shared by the new owners of the mall, who believe they can turn it around. nationwide, though, the outlook for retail looks bleak. bbc news, new york. tim: let's go back to our breaking story in the last few minutes, the sacking of fbi director james comey.
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katty kay joins me on the phone. he has given evidence recent days -- hillary clinton blames him for questing for the presidency. what was the tipping point? james comey told the senate committee that hundreds of thousands of e-mails that contain classified information had been forwarded from hillary clinton's top eight, somebody din, to the home computer she shared with her husband. it now turns out he misrepresented the e-mail cache. what we are hearing is that comey drastically overstated the number of e-mails that abedin had forwarded to the home computer, and it is probably the tipping point that he gave effectively senate testimony that turns out not to have been accurate. tim: would james comey have been someone that donald trump would have wanted to retain? katty: it's interesting, he has
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had kind of a love-hate relationship with james comey during the course of the campaign and election to he to be tougher on hillary clinton and the e-mail server and he criticized james comey for effectively saying that hillary clinton had done nothing illegal by keeping the e-mail server and the e-mails on it. so he didn't like him over that issue. and after the campaign, when james comey, just before the election day, came out and said he was reopening the investigation into hillary clinton, suddenly donald trump's tune changed on mr. comey. it is extraordinary that he has been forced out of office as director of the fbi just a week after he told senators and the american public that the idea that the fbi might influence the american election last november, as he put it, make them feel mildly nauseous. tim: and a most vigorous defense of what he did in the senate committee hearing.
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who will replace him? katty: that will be a process that will go through the ranks of the fbi and ricochet throughout washington. this fbi director in particular has become a very public figure. then't remember and director that has been as much of a household name as james comey in recent years. and whoever does replace him, remember this, tim, takes on the task of investigating the trump administration's ties with russia. it is an incredibly sensitive political and security matter. whoever replaces james comey will have to aware that. -- deal with that. tim: saying in alaska woman is that it will serve america well them afresh start for america. was james comey a man who had been controversial in recent years? he got slammed from both sides politically by donald trump and hillary clinton.
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hillary clinton just last week and said that she still thinks that james comey's revelation that he was reopening the investigation into her e-mail server just before the election in part cost her the presidency of the united states. he has become very controversial amongst people who are involved in politics on the democratic and republican side. i have to say that people i've spoken to who are in the intelligence world and have worked with the bureau say that he had a very solid reputation as a fair director of the fbi, not somebody who was political, as he had during the course of his career prove himself not to be a political director. with the latest on that breaking news, thank you very much indeed. if you are just joining us on "bbc world news america," our breaking story is sacking of james comey as fbi director. the white house in the past few minutes confirming that.
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much more of that developing story on the website and check out our facebook page and twitter. for me, tim willcox, and the whole team in washington, bye-bye for now. >> make sense of international news at >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, newman's own foundation, giving all profits from newman's own to charity and pursuing the common good, kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs, and aruba tourism authority. >> planning a vacation escape that is relaxing, inviting, and exciting is a lot easier than you think. you can find it here in aruba. families, couples, and friends can all find their escape on the island with warm, sunny days,
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cooling trade winds, and the crystal blue caribbean sea. nonstop flights are available from most major airports. more information for your vacation planning is available at >> "bbc world news" was presented by kcet, los angeles.
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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, in a stunning move, the white house announces president trump has fired f.b.i. director james comey. plus, i sit down with maine senator susan collins to talk about the comey firing and the fate of the republican's health care bill as it makes its way to her side of capitol hill. and, searching for hope in havana. why cancer patients are making the trek to cuba for a promising medication. >> i'm surprised mick's still here. so, i do believe that outside of divine intervention, there's some sort of scientific bato


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